Dolly Rebecca Parton

portrait of Dolly Parton
At the Grand Ole Opry, 25 April 2005. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby, USAF

Born: 19 January 1946, Sevierville, Tennessee

The fourth of twelve children in a one-room cabin, Parton grew up "dirt poor" in her words. She was composing songs at age four, her mother wrote down the notes as she heard them. She was appearing regularly on radio and TV at Knoxville when she was nine, appeared at the Grand Ole Opry at thirteen, and she left for Nashville the day after she finished high school in 1964. Her first success was as a songwriter, then she sang duets with Porter Wagoner whose established name and regular TV show helped her get started as a soloist. She married Carl Thomas Dean in 1966, they are still together but he is intensely private and does not appear with her in public. The couple has no children of their own but raised several of Dolly's younger siblings and is guardian for an orphaned friend of the family. She left the Wagoner show to focus on solo work in 1977, adding a number of pop hits to her regular country chart entries. She co-starred with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in Nine to Five in 1980, she also provided the title song. Her second film was The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, with Burt Reynolds (1982), Rhinestone with Sylvester Stallone (1984), and Steel Magnolias with an ensemble cast (1989). The numbers for her musical output are staggering, 25 releases have gone Gold or better, 26 songs hit number one in the Billboard country chart (110 charted total), and 42 top-10 country albums (a record). She won seven Grammy Awards and a host of others from the country music bodies, and received Kennedy Center Honors in 2006. Her philanthropy has featured efforts to preserve the bald eagle and to fight illiteracy, her Imagination Library mails a book each month to all enrolled children from birth to kindergarten, over 2.5 million books a year.

Biography from Wikipedia and NNDB

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